December 15, 2016
There are a lot of posts going around about the top podcasts for developers. John Sonmez has the most comprehensive list I’ve seen.
I can’t listen to that many podcasts so I have a much smaller list and I also switch out podcasts frequently. My podcast list is much different today than it was 6 or 9 months ago.
My criteria for podcasts in descending order:
- Good content
- Relevant content
- Good sound quality
- Decent podcasting voice
For a podcast to be worth my time I need to get something out of it. It needs to contribute to me becoming a better developer. I don’t need something that just entertains me.
I don’t need a podcast to be in the top 100 or be hosted by a popular person or have popular guests. Some of the best episodes I’ve listened to are just regular people talking about solving problems that I have in common.
I break my podcasts into distinct groups and I try to have a few podcasts in each group to balance things out. Once I have too many in a group or too many “interview” type podcasts, I’ll weed them out.
My favorite way to listen to podcasts is via Pocket Casts. I’ve been using this for years and I’ve purchased it on every platform. I love the way it presents the podcasts that are new and I love the way it just works. I’ve only had 1 sync issue in years of use.
Coding Blocks – This has been my favorite podcasts for at least 6 months now. If I could only have a single podcast, this would be it. They focus on client/backend development and their language of choice seems to be C#.
But even if I wasn’t doing that same type of development I’d still listen. There is a lot of good information on how to be a professional developer, what tools are useful, etc. They even have a Slack channel.
Cynical Developer – A new podcast that I heard about from the Coding Blocks Slack channel. I’m still deciding whether or not to keep it. The format looks like it will be an interview type show which I don’t particularly like.
I want to have at most one show of this type to keep up with what is going on in software developer land. It seems similar to Hanselminutes, MS Dev Show and .Net Rocks, all of which I’ve listened to on and off over the years.
The problem I have with this format is that it’s so hit and miss for me. I might be interested in 1 out of 10 topics and that’s too much of a chance to take.
Under the Radar – This show is focused on iOS development and running a small (one person) software business. I want to become a better iOS developer and this is the best podcast I’ve found that targets iOS.
I really need to cut back on these types of podcasts. These podcasts tend to make me question my tech choices and I end up switching between platforms frequently. I’m trying to be better about it, but there are days where I switch between iOS, Android and Windows Phone five or six times a day. Not a productive use of time!
Canvas – I like the hosts of this show and the way they explain how they use their devices. I pick up tips and tricks to make better use of my iPhone and iPad.
The Phone Show Chat – Mostly Android focused and the discussion tends to revolve around the latest releases of various Android smartphones. I do like to keep up with Android and how it’s being used so I’ve resisted dropping this one.
Out of School – This one seems kind of off the wall since I’m not involved in teaching or developing software for schools. However, I pick up ideas on how to manage the 6 iPhones, 2 iPads, and 6 Macs in my house. My wife just started teaching in an elementary school, so I’m picking up tips for her as well.
Stuff that doesn’t really fit in with professional software development per se. I like to hear other ways people are using their software development skills and how they manage projects.
Simple Programmer – I’m not sure if I should be listening to the podcast or watching the YouTube channel. A lot of content overlaps, but there are unique episodes on both platforms. I’ll probably drop the podcast soon and just watch the YouTube channel.
Startups for the Rest of Us – Two developers discuss software as a service. I like listening to how they turned side projects into full time jobs. I’m not sure I ever want to go this route, but it’s interesting to hear about the choices they have to make.
Smart Passive Income – I’m not the biggest fan of this podcast due to its interview nature. Again, it’s a hit and miss type thing for me but I like hearing about ways to make passive income online. I think there are a lot of shows like this but this host does a great job of explaining exactly what he’s doing to make passive income online.
Troy Hunt – Another new podcast that I recently stumbled upon. I’ve read a lot of his posts and am hoping that following him will keep me up to date on security best practices.
That’s about all I listen to today. When I read posts like the one linked above I’ll add a bunch of new podcasts and listen to an episode or two of each. I then decide if it adds, duplicates or is worse than what I already have.
If it is better than what I have, I keep it and reevaluate the others. If it duplicates without being better I dump it. And obviously if it’s worse I dump it as well.
I think listening to podcasts is a great way to do continuous learning for developers for zero cost.